bathroom lighting cover

Your Complete Guide to Better Bathroom Lighting

Bathrooms used to be a purely functional space that just existed for general hygienic needs. The modern bathroom has now evolved beyond its traditional purpose into a multifunctional room where we love to spend our time. Whether it be to prepare ourselves in the morning, or to pamper ourselves at night, bathrooms have become an in-home haven that deserve proper lighting.

One of the most common mistakes made when choosing bathroom lighting is not choosing enough of it. The best approach to bathroom lighting is to add layers and different fixtures with different purposes. Installing lights for your ceiling, vanity mirror, bathtub and even shower will all work together to create the ideal bathroom setting.


How Much Light do you Actually Need?

The lighting plan in your bathroom should ideally try to replicate daylight. The easiest and most inexpensive way to do this is to include natural light sources, such as a window or skylight. 

These simple additions can also cut down your power bill. A day time loo trip followed by a hand wash shouldn’t require any artificial light if you have natural sources at the ready.  

In lieu of natural lighting, electrical fixtures should provide enough light for safe and comfortable bathroom use. First and foremost, your bathroom lighting should be functional. Adding multiple lighting fixtures can help here, allowing you to see clearly during every bathroom activity.


Which Bathroom Light Should you Choose?

When it comes to creating the proper amount of lighting, placement and bulb choice matter more than the quantity of fixtures. There are a wide range of different fixture styles to choose from, all of which provide their own unique effect.



As the name suggests, these fixtures push light directly down. This can create shadows on your face, so aren’t the best option above mirrors. They are powerful, however, and do dispense a lot of light. They can be placed close to the mirrors and angled so that the light is reflected onto your face.


Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are fantastic for adding depth and warmth to a room. They can create a focal point in your bathroom and complement most design themes.

These lighting fixtures are incredibly versatile when it comes to style. They come in an array of design materials, including glass, chrome, metal, timber and stone. This makes finding the perfect style to suit your bathroom aesthetic a simple task.


Heat Lamps

Bathroom heater lights are a game changer for those chilly winter mornings. Their heat function not only provides a powerful light source, but it also creates a warm and cosy space to get ready for the day.

The only drawback to these lighting options is their high energy consumption. As the heating element uses a lot of power, it’s best to keep it off unless absolutely needed.


Under Cabinet Lighting

Installing an evenly distributed light source beneath your bathroom cabinets helps to eliminate shadows and create ambience. They can provide more focused illumination in tricky spaces and will transform your bathroom into a more stylish and contemporary space.


Lighting Sconces

Another versatile lighting choice, sconces come in a wide range of colours and designs to suit any bathroom theme. Whether you’re after an ultra modern look or a more rustic bathroom lighting style, these are a great option.


Diffuse Ceiling Lights

These fixtures are an easy option that work well for lighting white or pale walled bathrooms. Install a round bathroom ceiling light in the centre of the room to push light all around the space.


Warm or Cool Light Bulb Colours?

Choosing whether to go with a warm or cool toned bulb style really comes down to personal preference.  However, if your bathroom’s colour theme is focused around white, then cool toned LED bulbs could give off a clinical feel. To create a warm and inviting feeling, we’d recommend using warmer toned LED light bulbs.

Colour rendering is another thing to consider. This means how colours appear under certain light. Most LEDs work well with green, blue and yellow colours, however don’t properly illuminate reds. To avoid this, try to look for high colour rendering LEDs. These will help to make elements appear closer to their actual colour, which is particularly important for representing skin tones correctly in the bathroom vanity mirror.    


Function First with Vanity Lights

When it comes to the bathroom lighting around your vanity, function is the most important factor. This lighting needs to correctly and clearly light up your face when in use, whether it be for shaving, doing your makeup or cleansing your skin.

There are a few ways to create a functional lighting space around your vanity, including:

  • bathroom wall lights above and on both sides of the vanity mirror
  • pendant lights hanging from either one or both sides of the vanity
  • a mirror with a ring light

Whichever vanity lights you choose, remember to design lighting that hits the face completely, instead of casting directional shadows. As mentioned, downlights look nice however can cast strong downwards shadows that warp facial features. Similarly, backlit mirrors may look contemporary and elegant, but don’t offer a direct light stream. 


What About Bath and Shower Lighting?

We couldn’t forget about two of the best bathroom features. Both your bathtub and shower can have their own dedicated light source to help enhance your bathing experience.   

For a shower we’d recommend using a recessed or dome ceiling light with a trim. These types of fixtures are designed to prevent moisture from entering the fixture whilst the shower is in use.  When shopping for this, be sure to look for lights specifically rated for shower use.

You may also want to include mood lighting for your bath and shower areas. There are multiple lighting products available for this purpose, including fixtures designed specially with LEDs to cast different colours for different purposes. Some showerheads also feature built in LED mood lighting. 


Add Some Personality

Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to your bathroom lighting choices. Whether you have a modern or traditional décor style, there are plenty of unique fixture options or finishes to add the perfect touch of sophistication.

Opt for some rustic bathroom light fixtures to add style and personality. Or install a decorative chandelier for a more elegant feel. You might even add a dimmer switch to create a relaxing and soothing atmosphere at the end of the day.

Published: 2021-03-30

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